As the FA Cup quarterfinal round concluded today, the semifinal round was announced. The two fixtures will be played July 18-19, with the final being contested on Aug. 1, all at Wembley Stadium. We’ll see Manchester City take on Arsenal one on side, Manchester United versus Chelsea on the other.
Once again, a City side led by Pep Guardiola received the easiest draw possible. Although they will be facing the side with the most FA Cup titles in history, as Arsenal have lifted it 13 times.
On the other side, United have beaten Chelsea in all three of their previous meetings this season, with the Red Devils outscoring Chelsea 8-1 on aggregate in 2019-20. Marcus Rashford has scored four times in the three games against Chelsea thus far.
The last time Chelsea beat United, in any competition, was the 2018 FA Cup final.
“It wasn’t a spectacle, we didn’t threaten enough or create enough chances,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said yesterday after his side needed extra time to get past Norwich City in the FA Cup quarterfinals, “but I am delighted we are into the last four and it was a good workout.
“We got some minutes for a lot of players. We are through and that is what counts in the Cup.”
Solskjaer won two FA Cups as a player with United, and the narrative of former player now leading his club as boss is the prevailing theme in this FA Cup final four.
Arteta also won two FA Cup titles while playing for Arsenal, but Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer, won it four times during his playing career.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.